Monday, August 25, 2008

Email to Jim...

You mentioned to me that you have the Mary Mitchell Clarke book, Shatteen Coker Mitchell, 1802-1866. Here is an excerpt from it that I pulled out from the part of her book that Mary Clarke called Factual Fiction (see attachment). It is a moving account of some of the events that impacted Shatteen's life. I think it helps to understand our ancestor as a real, breathing person.

I am CC'd several other Mitchell cousins that I may be interested in these materials as well. [I may have already sent these materials to some of you before. My apologies. But it would not hurt to read again.]

We have a rich heritage that we can be justly proud of. Shatteen's story reminds us that life sometimes gets tough. When we feel down, we should take a breath, remember people like our ancestor Shatteen, and count our blessings.

Cousin Ron Mitchell


Text from Shatteen Story_2Jan04.doc

Shatteen Coker Mitchell


In a clearing amid the gently rolling hills of Central Georgia stood a stately white plantation house. It was surrounded by a split rail fence that guarded the area against the relentless press of cedar, sycamore, magnolia and elm trees.

Standing on the wide porch extending across the width of the house was a strikingly handsome man with dark hair and neatly trimmed beard. There was an unaffected, commanding quality about him that was admired by men and women alike. To his family, he represented profound wisdom, truth, justice and loving kindness.

Shatteen Coker Mitchell waited for his groom to hitch a horse to his Rockaway carriage and bring it around the graveled driveway to the front of the house. He was going to McDonough to serve as Justice of the Peace of Henry County.

As he waited, Shatteen’s intense blue eyes surveyed the sweeping white fields where slaves and field hands work amid the long rows of cotton. Cotton has flourished in his fertile, red soil, and the fluffy bolls would be processed by cotton gins he manufactured.

His father died shortly after Shatteen was born, leaving him an orphan in the eyes of the law; a fatherless child to be bound out. When old enough, he was apprenticed to a man named Able, who agreed to provide room, board, education and training in the art of “ginning.” At age twenty-two, the year after his apprenticeship ended, he met and married Mahalah and soon moved to Georgia. He bought as much land as he could afford, planted cotton and built his own gins.

Shatteen was proud of Double Cabins. He, and Mahalah’s cousin Dr. John Robert Clark, purchased the property in 1842. The Williams brothers were unable to make the payments on the land, and it was seized by James Head, the Sheriff of Henry County. Shatteen and John Robert Clark were the highest bidders at the Sheriff’s sale held on the steps of the Henry County Courthouse.

At that time, there were two cabins joined by a dogtrot. One cabin was a Trading Post and stagecoach stop that served routes from McDonough to Orchard Hill, Indian Springs to Tuscaloosa, AL, Columbus to Augusta, and New Orleans to New York. The other cabin was an Inn where travelers often slept on the floor on pallets made of old quilts.

As soon as he acquired the property, Shatteen began building his dream house across the road from the cabins and decided to name it Double Cabins.

Double Cabins was a two-story home with columns reaching from the floor to the ceiling of the front porch. It was one of the largest, most elegant homes in the area with much of the furniture designed and built by Shatteen himself.

Shatteen recalled the first time he saw Mahalah Burdett. Mahalah moved to Georgia with her family but was back in South Carolina visiting relatives.

They had always placed great importance on schooling for their children. Shatteen wanted his daughters to have the security of a good education.

In 1837, while living in Jasper County, he helped establish the Farmer’s Academy, a private school in Newton County.

Mahalah had borne him sixteen children, but they had lost four of them. One of the tiny twins died at birth, the other before she was six months old. When George was born two year later, he lived for nine months.

Out in the family cemetery, the dirt was still raw over the grave of their oldest daughter, Mary Ann. She left three small children who were taken to Louisiana by their father.


Shatteen still though of his first wide, Mahalah, who died in 1852. They buried her in the family cemetery at Double Cabins.

In 1853, he married Delila Ann Roan, who was thirty-seven and had never been married. She was the pampered daughter of his late friend and fellow County Commissioner, Leonard Roan. The demanding life of the large plantation and being stepmother to eight children between three and twenty proved too much for her. Delila had not withstood the birth of her child, and both she and the baby died.

In 1855, he married Elizabeth R. Liverman of Augusta, Georgia. She was of a different faith but soon attended the local Methodist Church. He was so pleased that he changed his membership from the Baptist Church to the Methodist.

Elizabeth grew up in the city of Augusta, Georgia and refused to live at Double Cabins, referring to it as “in the country.” In December 1854, Shatteen bought a city lot on Ninth Street between Taylor and College Streets in downtown Griffin and deeded it to his bride-to-be. He built a large boarding house and named it the “Planters Hotel.”

Living in town was a new experience for Shatteen. Even with J.W. Hammil as overseer of slaves at Double Cabins, he made almost daily trips between the plantation and the hotel.

He was a wealthy man, having accumulated approximately two thousand acres of land and numerous slaves. Shatteen, who had worked hard all his life, was beginning to feel his fifty-eight years. There were many demands on his time and energy even though he was no longer active in civic affairs as he had once been. When in Henry County, he was on the Grand Jury in 1838, on the Superior Court Jury 1838-1839, a County Commissioner 1840-1845, and Justice of the Peace in 1849.

After the establishment of Spalding County in December 1851, Double Cabins was no longer in Henry County due to the change in county lines. He had not moved, but found himself living in another county. He served as Justice of the Peace for Spalding County in 1852 and 1853.


Thomas was the first of his sons to enlist in the army. In May, he joined a local company nicknamed “Griffin Light Guards.” Shatteen was upset that Thomas did not wait for a doctor’s commission, but joined as a private. Thomas was detailed to Tyler Station Hospital in Macon, Georgia, fifty-five miles south of Griffin.

The next to go was Shatteen, Jr., who had graduated with honors from the University of Georgia, June 1860, and had been admitted to the bar in Superior Court of Spalding County. After getting married in May, he enlisted in the army as a Lieutenant. He warned the army that he was on his honeymoon and would not report until August 1. The Army felt that the war was more important and dispatched a War Department official to Griffin. The honeymoon ended abruptly, and Shatteen, Jr. reported for duty on June 26.

In July, his oldest son, John Henry, enlisted. He was already married and living in Pike County, Georgia.

Tragedy struck when Shatteen’s second son, William Presley Mitchell, died in August. He moved to Louisiana and was living with his sister, Judith, when he became ill. They buried him in the family cemetery at Double Cabins.

His remaining son, Edmund, was studying law but began to talk about enlisting like his brothers. Edmund, ignoring his father’s objections, enlisted the first of September.

In four months, one of his sons had died and the other four had been enlisted in the army. Three weeks after Edmund left for the war, John Henry was shot in the right leg at Sewells Mountain, Virginia.

In October, Shatteen, Jr. wrote that he was in the hospital at Jackson Depot; in November, he was in the hospital at Blue Sulfa Springs, Virginia.


The war continued.

In August, Shatteen Jr. was in the hospital in Lynchburg, Virginia. Now Shatteen began to wonder if his son’s medical problems had something to do with Chloe’s frequent visits. When hospitalized and temporarily relieved of his duties, he was available to enjoy his wife’s company.

On September 25, John Henry resigned from the army because the wound in his leg injury made it impossible for him to walk more than a mile. Shatteen was relieved that his son was back home with his wife, Rebecca, who would care for him until he recovered from his injury.

In November, Surgeon James Bolton granted Shatteen, Jr. a sixty-day leave. The family was delighted to have him home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thomas passed the Medical Board exam in Knoxville, Tennessee on December 3, 1862, but the army failed to promote him to Assistant Surgeon. Thomas, tired of being a doctor for a private’s pay, convinced the army he was too sick to perform his duties and resigned.


On January 28, Shatteen, Jr. reported to Port Royal, Virginia after being absent without leave for twenty-seven days, according to the army.

In March, Edmund Harper Mitchell was a patient in the Atlanta hospital, but recovered by the end of April and was detailed to the Atlanta Military Prison Hospital.

Chloe visited Shatteen, Jr. in Virginia the first of May. It was dangerous to travel, but she was a headstrong, young girl of nineteen and insisted on seeing her husband as often as possible.

Thomas was back in the army June 18 having been appointed Assistant Surgeon by the Secretary of War, retroactive to December 3, 1862. He was placed in charge of the hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee and was paid $110 a month.

News came of a terrible battle being waged Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Shatteen, Jr.’s name appeared on the long lists of casualties. He had been wounded on July 1.


Having recovered from his wounds, Shatteen, Jr. was promoted to Captain of his company on February 17. Edmund was still working in the hospital in Atlanta and Thomas was surviving the situation in Tennessee.

In July, some of Sherman’s men circled Atlanta and raided areas to the south. Word came from Henry County that the Yankees were looting and razing everything in sight, including the courthouse in McDonough where most of the court records were destroyed.

Torment from Sherman’s soldiers was still going on when his daughter-in-law appeared at the door. He was shocked to see Chloe, who had moved to Columbus, Georgia to live with her older sister. Obviously several months pregnant, she had just traveled through enemy lines to reach Griffin.

Shatteen looked into her face, and her eyes told him that something terrible had happened. Chloe handed him a tear-stained letter. A friend had written that Shatteen, Jr. was killed at Winchester, Virginia. He was shot through the heart and died instantly.

Chloe did not receive the letter until two weeks after her husband was killed. Shatteen had received the letter first addressed to “Mrs. S.C. Mitchell, Jr., Griffin, GA.” Since Chloe was living in Columbus, Georgia, he forwarded the letter to her, unaware that the news it contained would change their lives.

Sherman captured Atlanta in November 1864.

Leaving Atlanta in ashes, General Sherman launched southward with 62,000 troops in two wide columns, accompanied by a twenty-five mile long supply train.

Shatteen and his family never forgot the night of November 16, 1864. Word came that General Howard’s Union troops were camped on the Griffin-McDonough Road. By morning, Howard’s men separated into two wings, one moving toward Griffin, the other to Jackson. Double Cabins, located between the two wings, escaped unharmed and stood tall and proud amid the destruction of war.

Chloe had returned to Columbus to be with her sister when the baby was born. Two days after Christmas, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl and named her “Shatteen C. Mitchell” for the father she would never know.


Text from Shatteen C. Mitchell.doc


SHATTEEN C. MITCHELL b. 1802 Amelia Co. VA d. 1866 Griffin, Spalding Co. GA
Marriages: (1) Mahalah BURDETT m.1824 b. 1805 Edgefield, SC d. 1852 Griffen GA; (2) Delila Ann ROAN m. 1853; (3) Elizabeth R. LIVERMAN m. 1855.
Parents: James C. Mitchell and Mary Ann (Polly) CRADDOCK 1795 Amelia County, Virginia
Siblings: Edmund Harper Mitchell, Thomas, Mariah (See below for more information)

While he was quite young, Shatteen’s parents moved from Virginia to Abbeville, SC. Shatteen eventually settled in Griffin, now Spalding Co., Georgia, where he established a 1000 acre plantation named Double Cabins. The plantation home still is occupied by a descendant of Shatteen’s oldest son, John Henry. The Mitchell-Walker-Holberg house, built in 1842, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located a few miles northeast of Griffin along Jackson Rd (Rt. 155) near the intersection with N. McDonough Rd. The address is 3335 Jackson Rd. Griffin, GA 30223.

SHATTEEN’S CHILDREN -- Place of birth: Griffin, Georgia
Children with Mahalah BURDETT: Her Parents: Henry Burdett b. 1778 & Nancy Clark b. c. 1784
1. Mary Ann, 1826-1850 m. Meriweather JOHNSON
2. Nancy A., 1827-1867/73 m. Henry MALONE
3. Judith C., 1829-1910 m. William D. KIMBELL
4. Elizabeth L., 1830-1847 m. Howell J. McCLENDON
5. John Henry, 1833-1912 m. Rebecca FREEMAN
6. William Presley, 1834-1861
7. Martha Susan, 1835-1899 m. Dr. Robert RUSSELL
8. Thomas James, 1837-1912 m. Nancy J. Smith (JACKSON)
9. Shatteen C., 1839-1864 m. Chole BARTLETT
10. Edmund H., 1841-1931 m. Margaret Sarah BELEW
11. Mariah Jane, 1843-1843
12. Sarah Elizabeth, 1843-1843
13. Mahallah J., 1845-1881 m. John W. CATES
14. Geo. Washington, 1846-1847
15. Josephine A., 1846-1883
16. Mary Ann, 1849-1930 m. Thomas Russell COOKE

Children with Delia ROAN:
17. Possibily one child, name unknown, born abt 1854.

Children with Elizabeth LIVERMAN:
18. Elizabeth S., 1856-1870
19. Frances Howard, 1857-1932 m. Young Joseph ALLEN
20. James Evans, 1859-1931 m. Mary (Mollie) E. CHAMBERS
21. Lida, abt 1860- abt 1862
22. Milton Daniel, 1862-1930 m. Leila John STEPHENSON

Source: Mary Mitchell Clarke, Shatteen Coker Mitchell, 1802-1866, The Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, Iowa, 1991.


James C. Mitchell b. 1772 of Virginia d. 29 May 1804 Prince Edward Co., VA
Mary Ann (Polly) Craddock b. abt 1776, VA
Edmund Harper Mitchell b. 1796/1800 d. abt 1830
Thomas Mitchell b. abt 1798, VA
Mariah Mitchell b. 1801, VA m. abt 1830 to Samuel Blakely
Shatteen C. Mitchell, b. 1802, Amelia Co., VA d. 1866, Griffin, Spalding Co, GA


Henry Burdett (b. 1778; d. 1861) father; Nancy Clark (b. 1784; d.1837
Frederick Burdett (b. 1753; d1841) g-father; Mary Ann (b. 1752; d. 1861) g-mother
Thomas Clark (b. 1753; d. 1864) g-father; Priscilla Doyle (b.1753;d.1842) g-mother

My line of descent:

Shatteen C. Mitchell, Sr. & Mahallah Burdett (ggg-parents)

Edmund Harper Mitchell 1841-1931 m. Margaret Sarah BELEW 1868 (gg-parents)

Robert Emmet Mitchell 1873-1913 m. Ollie Edna GRAHAM 1901 (g-parents-
father’s father side)


Main Branches/Related surnames Primary Locations

BELEW -- BULLINGTON, CURTIS Union Co. SC; Lawrence Co. TN, late 1700s

BURDETT -- CLARK, DOYLE Laurens, SC; Amelia Co. VA

EDWARDS -- Greenville, SC; Culpeper, VA;


HAMBLIN/HAMBLEN -- DICKINSON, NOBLE Lee Co, VA; Prince Edward, VA; Knoxville, TN

RHEA -- CONLEY Knoxville, TN, of NC

No comments:

Post a Comment